A massive search is underway in India for a helicopter carrying an influential politician.
Officials say they lost contact with the helicopter carrying chief
minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y.S.R. Reddy, and several other officials,
shortly after it took off from Hyderabad Wednesday on a flight to the
southern Chittoor district.
Authorities used fighter jets, satellite images and ground searches by
local villagers in an effort to find the missing politician.
Government officials say they suspended aerial searches for the
helicopter when darkness fell Wednesday, but they will resume Thursday.
Officials say the helicopter may have gone down in a heavily forested
area populated by Maoist rebels. There were strong winds and rain in
the region at the time the craft went missing.
The rebels are active in 13 of the 29 Indian states. They are part of a
wider group of insurgents, known as Naxalites, who say they are
fighting for the rights of the poor and landless.
Mr. Reddy is a leading figure in India's ruling Congress Party and has played a role in the party's recent election victories.
Our Kolkata stringer Pramashish Ghosh Roy has more on the story .